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Want to drive a beautiful classic Porsche on a €10k budget? Here's the model to look for

Prices are soaring for classic Porsches – but there are still bargains to be had. Here’s our guide.
Aug 28th 2017, 12:13 PM 6,258 0

THE CURRENT MARKET for classic Porsche models is reaching stratospheric levels with individual cars selling at high-profile auctions for sums of money that would even make lottery winners wince.

But thankfully this doesn’t apply to all types of Porsche – and there are still several models that you can not only buy for affordable sums of money but also won’t cost that you much to run.

Acquiring a used Porsche on a budget does narrow down the scope of models to choose from as well as going back a number of years, but both of these aren’t exactly negative factors. Take age into consideration first. Read any of the latest car magazines, and they’ll all say that older Porsches are rising in value. While this is partly true, there are still many models that aren’t. Yet.

One such model is the Porsche 944, which can be picked up for as little as a few thousand euro, depending on age and condition. Purists may turn their noses up at these front-engined Porsches, but the 944 is an excellent first step into the world of Porsche ownership. Early models are powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder that was equipped with two counter balance shafts to give the engine a smoother running nature more akin to a straight six.

One bit of trivia regarding this is that Mitsubishi held the patent for this balancing system, resulting in Porsche paying the Japanese car maker $8 for every engine that it built.

It isn’t a rocket ship, but you can work the motor hard to produce enough performance to make that early Sunday morning drive that bit more enjoyable. From 1985 the 944 Turbo was introduced bringing more power (220hp) and some slightly tweaked styling to better aid aerodynamics.

Over time, many 944s have fallen victim to the Irish climate, so bodywork can be a common issue and one that affects almost all examples.Check around the wings, sills and in the arches especially, and be prepared for the car needing some kind of cosmetic work if it hasn’t already had some done.

Smaller repairs aren’t too costly to have done, but in more severe cases of rust, it may be cheaper and quicker to replace entire side panels. Other areas to thoroughly check are the brake calipers and the exhaust. The alloy calipers if not maintained correctly can corrode and react with the steel backing plates of the brake pads resulting in a potentially large repair bill.

When it comes to repairs and servicing, there are many very reputable Porsche specialists that can take care of the maintenance without charging main dealer prices. For the more basic stuff, you could also invest in a service manual and carry out some of the work yourself.

Another area prone to wear is the upholstery. Threadbare seat bolsters and worn carpet are among the usual suspects in less well-kept examples. You can invest in a set of seat covers or have them completely re-upholstered. The latter can be more costly. But if you’re planning on keeping the car for some time, you may see the value in having this done. Of course, this depends on how immaculate you want to keep the car.

With almost all Porsche 944 models now over 30 years old these will qualify for vintage or classic insurance, making the running costs that bit lower providing you want to run it as a second car. Do shop around for these policies as some companies will have mileage limitations as well as other criteria. One useful tip is to look at joining an owners club, as these often get more favourable rates with insurance companies, which could save you more money than the annual club membership fee. It can also be a great way of meeting fellow enthusiasts and learning useful advice and tips towards ownership.

View Porsche 944s on the market now>

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Dave Humphreys

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